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Crowdfunding for NGOs - Best Practice: bockwerk

I was talking about "bockwerk - a social workshop for refugees" in a webinar during the “Crowdfunding and Crossborder Fundraising” Workshop in Dresden/Germany, November 6th-7th 2017, organised by ikosom. Details here:

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Crowdfunding for NGOs - Best Practice: bockwerk

  1. 1. Crowdfunding for NGOs bockwerk - a social workshop for refugees
  2. 2. Verein Ute Bock: originally a privately initiated refugee support project by Ute Bock, now one of the biggest fundraising organizations in Austria. They have flats and houses which the use to host refugees, they organize german-courses, they do social consulting and a lot of fundraising-events like „bock auf Kultur“ etc. Screenshot:
  3. 3. I am… I am… I am WOLFGANG I am… I am… I am… Source:CC-BY-NDMichaelHolzer It started with a kick-off workshop in August 2015 with the team of Verein Ute Bock, in which most of the important questions were answered and a rough plan was made.
  4. 4. A few weeks later, on September 5th, project-leader Christian Penz started the bockwerk-Facebook-page by introducing the project with a video. Screenshot:
  5. 5. In this video, Christian answered 5 questions: how would you explain bockwerk in one sentence?, why did you start the project?, what’s the impact of bockwerk?, what do refugees learn apart from craftmen’s skills?, which products will you produce? Screenshot:
  6. 6. Screenshot: At the end of October 2015 they launched their campaign: within 48 days they not only reached their goal of € 30,000, they even over-funded it with the help of over 227 supporters. How did they manage to reach such a big goal? Here’s a few ideas…
  7. 7. During the weeks after the workshop and before the campaign, the team of 4 people focussed on growing their Facebook-page. After one day, 500 people liked the page, within 2 days, it reached 1,000 fans on Facebook. One reason was… the initial intro-video. Screenshot:
  8. 8. In the weeks before the launch of the Crowdfunding-campaign, they revealed more and more of their plan… Screenshot:
  9. 9. … and were making people curious about the upcoming project and the products. Screenshot:
  10. 10. Also they started a blog and a newsletter, in which they told their story - step by step. E.g. they mentioned the upcoming Crowdfunding campaign in this blog and were introducing the people behind the project etc. Screenshot:;
  11. 11. But they did not only communicate online, the team was also present at various events, e.g. an open studio-day. Screenshot:;
  12. 12. They even rented a showroom to presenting their work and making it accessible for everyone. Screenshot: Screenshot:;;
  13. 13. Additionally they used the official organization’s Facebook-page, the newsletter etc. to building awareness and reaching out to as many people as possible. Screenshot:
  14. 14. A few days before the launch they started a countdown on their Facebook-page… Screenshot: Screenshot:;https://
  15. 15. And then the day came: they started their campaign - with a Facebook-post, showing the pitch-video. It reached over 6,500 people and was shared nearly 100 times. Screenshot: Screenshot:
  16. 16. On Facebook they kept their fans in the loop and they were showing more and more about the project, as they already started to work on the projects in a studio, they got sponsored until the Crowdfunding-campaign was finished. Screenshot: Screenshot:
  17. 17. Screenshot: Also they used the news/blog-feature on their project-page, for example to update their fans about recent achievements, showed some of their products and tried to motivate their supporters.
  18. 18. Screenshot: Professional pictures and graphics also played a huge role in the project, as they pointed out the engagement and importancy of the project.
  19. 19. Screenshot: Another lucky circumstance was, that bockwerk became part of the Bank Austria Kunstpreis, a co-funding competition to support creative and cultural projects. Once the first third of the financial goal is reached, the second third is donated by the Bank Austria.
  20. 20. Screenshot:;https:// This helped a lot, but so did special events like the exhibition they did together with the architects, who designed their furniture. Or a Vernissage with other artists.
  21. 21. Screenshot:; And of course they reached out to journalists and continuously gained media coverage throughout Austria.
  22. 22. They also had prominent support, e.g. by Heini Staudinger, a well known shoe producer or actress and singer Eva Billisich. Screenshot:;
  23. 23. Last but not least, they had great rewards, like a virtual hug, a bag (jUTE-Beutel), a small book with refugee-stories, team-building events and of course the furniture. By the way, the chairs etc. were named after the refugees who work in the studio. Fun fact: EUR 22.280 were donations without reward!
  24. 24. Also they added some additional rewards later, like the X-Mas-tree-stand ;) or the multi-functional box. Screenshot:; 1617561085177639/1617560745177673/?type=3&theater
  25. 25. In the end, all the efforts payed off. bockwerk was even featured in local, but also national TV after the campaign ended. Screenshot: type=3&permPage=1;
  26. 26. In the meantime, the team supported two other Crowdfunding-campaigns: adjust.table and Park – macht Platz für dich! Screenshot:;
  27. 27. A few months ago, bockwerk’s project-leader Christian Penz, founded a non-profit company and grew the idea of helping refugees and founded Nut & Feder. Screenshot:;
  28. 28. Screenshot: The brand „bockwerk“ was kept by Verein Ute Bock and will be used for trainings etc. in the future.
  29. 29. Vielen Dank für die Aufmerksamkeit! - -